Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bike saddles - a case of nerves

My ass has occupied more bike saddles than can be counted.

They say that first impressions are formed within seconds of meeting somebody. Sometimes a good time is had by all and other times it's been a bad relationship the first time buns touched leather.

There's lots of friendly advice - most of which has been considered. "Try Terry." Check. "Selle Italias - I swear by them." Oh, those have been worst of all.

Leather, faux leather, plastic, yak skin, sheepskin, human skin (or removal thereof.) - they've all been under my ass. Everyone loves something and hates something else. At times one person's ass's favorite is another's worst enemy.

I've recently, much to my bike coach's delight, changed from a saddle that he terms "The Sow" for a Fizik triathlon saddle.

Unlike most of my exes, The Sow and I continue to have a good relationship. It lives in the retiree bike saddles' equivalent of a mobile home in Florida - my closet. The Sow and I had our days in the sun. Actually, about 1 1/2 years in the sun. Then, one day, my butt and it had a falling out.

And that's another issue entirely. Why are saddles so fickle? For an undocumented period of time, could be months, years or days, that saddle is The One. You love it. Your butt loves it. Your bike time loves it.

Then, poof. They never call, they never write. The relationship becomes adversarial and the saddle turns into a bed of nails. You have to break up. A race, just like Valentine's Day, is a really bad time for your saddle to tell you this.

What I figure is this - a relationship takes work. There are going to rocky roads where the two of you can agree on nothing. What is comfortable in some areas of, let's face it, a very very close relationship, will be downright icky in others.

And who wouldn't be crabby and sick of each other after 112 miles? It's like having your sister poke you with a needle through the entire State of Iowa.

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